Local Content Legislation coming soon – Minister Bharrat assures private sector

Minster of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat

By: Nathifa Punch

On the heels of the local private sector demanding that local content laws be enacted, Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat has assured that preparations are being made to introduce such legislation.

The Minister gave the assurance whilst delivering remarks last evening at the Guyana National Bureau of Standards’ National Quality Awards ceremony hosted at Parc Rayne, Houston, Greater Georgetown.

“Already, we are the stage of drafting our local content legislation and that would be presented to the National Assembly very soon. And then pass it through the National Assembly and then enacted as a law,” the Minister expressed.

He further noted that local content is a top priority of the government.

“Local content is important to ensure that Guyanese and Guyanese businesses benefit from our resources. That is the whole idea. That is the whole purpose of ensuring that we have a strong local content policy in place supported by the requisite legislation. To ensure that our homegrown indigenous companies, our Guyanese companies benefit from this sector and all the other sectors, not only oil and gas,” the Minister added.

Upon assuming office in August 2020, the PPP/C Administration embarked on a fresh round of consultations aimed at developing a proper Local Content Policy.

In fact, a Local Content Advisory panel was established by President Dr Irfaan Ali, and this body hosted several consultations with stakeholders to compile the first draft.

On October 1, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) issued a statement complaining of local firms being bypassed for work. The GCCI also intensified calls for local content legislation to be enacted.